University News

November 20 Ceremony at Memorial Tree Grove

November 11, 2003

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MACOMB, IL - - Three Western Illinois University employees who died during the 2002-2003 school year will be remembered at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 20 during a brief ceremony at the Memorial Tree Grove, located on the southeast section of campus by East Village, near the Pierce Street entrance. The ceremony is open to the public; employees who wish to attend will be granted release time.

James Butterworth, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication, died Nov. 20, 2002. He came to Western in 1987 to serve as dean. Butterworth orchestrated numerous facility improvements, the latest being the College of Fine Arts and Communication Recital Hall, which opened in February 2002.

Butterworth was a graduate of North Park College (philosophy and theology bachelor’s degree, 1963) and the University of Minnesota (master’s degree in fine arts, 1967).

Sudhir Gokhale (SOOD here GO cah lee), an associate mathematics professor, and his wife Sharada died July 4, 2002 in an automobile accident. Gokhale had taught at Western Illinois since 1983.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in his home country of India and his doctorate (1983) from the University of Kansas.

Randall Prichard, a building services worker, died Feb. 1, 2003. He worked at Western from August 1994 until his death. Prichard was a member of the AFLCIO, the Water Garden Society of Macomb and the Church of God of Abrahamic Faith of Macomb.

The Nov. 20 ceremony marks the inaugural planting in the Memorial Tree Grove, which was established this fall following a recommendation by members of Western's American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 417 with support from the Civil Service Employees Council, the Council of Administrative Personnel, Faculty Senate and University administration.

Each fall a ceremony will be held and one tree will be planted in memory of all employees who passed away during the preceding year. Honorees will include employees who die while either actively working, on disability, on workers compensation or on an approved leave from the University.

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